July 29th, 2010

Detroit: Murder City

a super well researched indie documentary on the history of detroit gangs. just as henry ford revolutionized manufacturing with the factory assembly line, making detroit one of the first thriving metropolis’, the chambers brothers revolutionized selling crack by using the same theory of mass production. in taking the sale of illegal product off the street corner to more secure houses and buildings, they became industry titans in their own right much the same way detroit’s automobile manufacturers had before them.   just a side note, new jack city was a detroit story based off the chambers brothers, not a new york story.  thanks to lucas for this one.

July 18th, 2010

and the band played on… politics, people and the aids epidemic.

i don’t think there’s a bigger blight on the US governments collective consciousness post slavery than how it handled the pending aids catastrophe beginning in the late 70’s and exploding throughout the 1980’s. the history of this disease and how it was mishandled is absolutely one of the most astounding stories i have ever read. one of the most intriguing aspects of this book is the perspective of scientists trying to analyze and confront a gay sexual revolution that had really only just begun. from a hetero man’s liberal notions of sexuality, i found myself nostalgic for a time of sheer hedonistic rituals that i wouldn’t have even been a part of anyway. it was more of a grieving of the last era of action without consequences.
here is an excerpt:
“Intimacy disappeared and, before long, people were wearing outward signs of sexual tasks, hankies and keys, to make their cruising more efficient, and the bathhouses became virtual convenience stores for quick cavorting, 7-elevens for butt-fucking… The trouble was that, by definition, you had gay male subculture in which there was nothing to moderate the utterly male values that were being adulated more religiously than any macho heterosexual could imagine. Promiscuity was rampant because in an all-male subculture there was nobody to say “no” – no moderating role like that a woman plays in the heterosexual milieu.”

July 15th, 2010

africa is still here.

there’s not much denying that most contemporary music’s time signatures and even more specifically, dance rhythm’s time signature of the 4/4 came from africa. african drum rhythm’s have played a key role in various story telling and dance rituals for centuries. even the drum’s introduction into america came via the slave trade, but was eventually banned because slaves could communicate over long distances with other slaves in a language or code unknown to their slave owners. we don’t hear of much new music coming out of africa, but you shouldn’t count them out by any means because of limited marketing. Konono n°1 for example was a fantastic new discovery from Crammed Discs and now Honest Jon’s has just released a new compilation called Shangaan Electro. I don’t even know where to start with this amazing phenomenon, but in keeping with the idea that talent is talent no matter what tools you have to work with, buy this new release so we can keep hearing real artists do real shit.


July 12th, 2010

truth is light # 10 and 11.

these are the next 12’s from me and payzant. all the new mastering is done by Pole and the sound quality on these new releases is incredible.

July 11th, 2010

jeff mills using only a 909.

i find myself getting into a lot of online squabbles. they are usually started when i read and reply to absurd facebook posts of some local dj misrepresenting themselves, their night, their musical contribution or lack thereof and a host of other typical problems like music theft, serato, hack production and style. it’s the same argument over and over in which i express my frustration and concern (usually quite angrily) over the lack of quality and accountability in this over saturated digital music age, and in keeping a focus on what’s closest to me, calling out vancouver’s worst taste makers and circuit dj’s for thinking they are the second coming.
the latest being a gimmicky dj who works in marketing posting a track with 5 sub genre’s in the title “deep french filter disco house”. sadly that title sounded far more exciting than the actual song. his argument in a nutshell was that he only has limited musical tools at his disposal to make music with and so his sound will have to suffice for now. furthermore, that it’s just smart marketing to get his music out there using these stupid monikers in the googlesphere so that maybe he can get to the next level in hopes to make better music later.
this way of thinking happens to be rampant where i live and i will get into more of this later. for now, this was a long way of getting around to wanting to show what an actual real electronic musician can do with just ONE piece of gear and to prove that talent is talent regardless of what you own.

July 10th, 2010

big bang big boom

the latest wall painted animation from the italian artist BLU.  the sheer magnitude of this work is astounding.

July 7th, 2010

Roland History

“These gentlemen changed the nature of composition by making performance controlled by a computer program. The ability to “play” these electronic instruments did not require years of instruction or even good timing. The only prerequisite was a rhythmic sensibility and an understanding of how to construct music using its programming interface.”


July 7th, 2010

this is tadao kikumoto. he was the developer for the roland 808, 909 and 303. it’s another beautiful example of one thing leading to a completely unexpected other thing.

July 2nd, 2010

welcome to the phuture: techno (1988)

a great old article dug up from the people at djhistory.com about the belleville three and detroit techno.   just an embarrassing side note.   i remember running into derrick may at a mall in detroit.  i was back home in windsor visiting my parents during my first year of college.   he was trying on suit jackets and I was looking for track pants.  i think at the time i was trying to play it cool, but in hindsight was just a wide eyed fan seeing a larger than life star.   i asked him if there was any advice he could give a new dj and he said, “never touch the records (in the mix)”.   meaning only use the pitch control.  it was great advice from a wise man and one of the greatest dj’s of all time.   thanks for that derrick and thanks for not laughing off an over eager young kid.


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